Although the intensity of the economic downturn appears to be easing, the Federal Reserve said it will move ahead with increasing its holdings of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities. The Fed also indicated it might accelerate those purchases if the economy starts to worsen. "Although the economic outlook has improved modestly since the March meeting, partly reflecting some easing of financial-market conditions, economic activity is likely to remain weak for a time," the Fed said in a statement.

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